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Grey's Anatomy recap: Twelve O’Clock High

After Callie learns about George’s adultery, she and Izzie square off in the cafeteria at lunchtime; plus, McDreamy bonds with Lexie, then tells Meredith what he really wants

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Grey's Anatomy

TV Show
run date:
Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, James Pickens Jr., Kevin McKidd, Jessica Capshaw
Current Status:
In Season

”Grey’s Anatomy” recap: Callie and Izzie’s fight

Thank goodness for the grown-ups on this show — and for their showing up in force for the first time this season. Which is to say: Mad props to Callie O’Malley and Alex Karev, with always-honorable (and I don’t mean that in a runner-up sorta way) mention to Dr. Bailey and Chief Webber. (If Addison were still around, I suspect she’d be on that short list, too, but, alas, she up and moved to California and started acting like a 14-year-old.)

But first things first: No wonder Dr. Bailey was feeling so threatened by Dr. Callie earlier this season — not so much because she’s now chief resident but because she’s the only woman around this place who can match the erstwhile ”Nazi” in gravitas. And, incidentally, Sara Ramirez showed some major potential to snag one of those perennial Grey’s Emmy noms next to Chandra Wilson next round. She killed it in this episode. Her slow simmer in that opening scene with George, at the end of which she simply told him she forgave him for his affair with Izzie — genius, but only a hint of things to come, it turned out. Just as good as a strategic move, too, or at least I thought so at the time; I’ve always figured George pulled this affair crap to get himself out of a marriage he regretted, so not letting him out would be the right punishment for him, if not the right thing to do. Better still, though, was the tension now exploding between the wife and the mistress at work, with Callie marching straight up to Izzie in the morning to demand a lunchtime meeting. Tackling an issue head on like — it bears repeating — an adult was truly un-Greysian.

The younger Grey, however, was being totally Greysian, doing that whole we now interrupt this surgical discussion to talk about our feelings thing with Derek. Though in Lexie’s defense, it kinda seemed to be Derek’s idea, getting like BFFs at a sleepover by asking her how things were going between her and her sister/his girlfriend. Friend with benefits. Whatever. Lex and Der can be a tad grating at times on their own, but they take it to a whole new level when they’re together. I don’t blame Meredith for pouting about it, really. ”I have gone out of my way to be nice to her,” Meredith huffed, watching their chatfest from afar, ”and this is what she does, talks about me behind my back?” ”When were you nice to her?” Cristina asked. ”I was nice,” Mer snapped back. ”Once.” And I gotta admit, I was on her side after weeks of Meredith fatigue.

But Norman the Super Old Intern — i.e., Grandpa Gilmore — was there to not only help Meredith and McSteamy but, more important, to bring some much needed self-mocking to the proceedings. ”It’s like, seriously, you’re an intern?” he said of himself. ”But, seriously, it’s true. Seriously!” Then he even referenced the ”McSteamy” business (which, I admit, has gotten so bad that I actually had to look up poor Dr. Sloan’s name on IMDB to write this thing), indicating that perhaps the new interns have somehow gone meta and have been watching Grey’s Anatomy DVDs just to prepare for their time at Seattle Grace. No matter, though. Comic relief welcome, especially in the form of Edward Herrmann. There were even a few moments between Meredith and Norman that, intentionally or not, recalled a little Rory-Richard dynamic — something about him being so big, her being all waify, and them having cute banter. Hey, I’ll take whatever glimpses of classic Gilmore I can get.

Despite Cristina’s earlier indifference to Meredith’s sister troubles, the prickly one developed her own issues with the younger Grey when they went to work along with Derek on a teen football player with a smashed-up spine. It started with Cristina reverting to calling Lexie ”3,” from back when she first numbered her interns, and, well, I have to admit I’m kind of a fan of that. So 3 it is. But after Cristina ordered 3 to stay against the wall to observe instead of trying to get all up in procedures, Derek gave her quite the strong talking-to about how she better not let her competitiveness get in the way of teaching interns. And all I could think was: If only he could man up half this much when it comes to Meredith…

Alex, on the other hand, was all man tonight. He threw his first testosterone bomb when Izzie confessed to him, all conspiratorial like a 10th grader with a secret crush, that the reason Callie wanted to meet her in the cafeteria — by this time word of the impending showdown had spread throughout the school, er, hospital — was because she’d (oops!) slept with George. ”I’m embarrassed for you,” he said, not the least bit humorously, then walked away. And, it should be noted, his facial-hair situation seems to be inching back to normal, though it’s not quite resolved yet. Still, after tonight’s shows of strong — but not brute — masculinity, he’s the hottest one of the bunch as far as I’m concerned. His long-lost amnesiac, who’s returning next week according to the preview scenes, is a lucky, lucky girl.

(A note of apology here before we go any farther. And I’m not proud of this even the slightest bit. I would probably attempt to sternly-but-wittily reprimand myself for this if I were writing a TV Watch about my own life. Which would be boring, particularly this scene where I write about a television show and eat frozen yogurt. But anyway, here’s the thing: I don’t care all that much about the Chief’s niece. I mean, I feel bad, because she’s a teenager, and she has this terrible ovarian cancer that won’t quit, and the Chief sure has had his share of tough times lately. But I guess I sorta feel like we did that before, and much better, with that prom they gave her while she was in the hospital, and maybe that makes me think of McVet, which makes me sad. Or maybe I just wanted to get to the Callie-Izzie showdown, which makes me no better than these immature doctors I’m flogging tonight. Though I like to believe I would genuinely care if she were a real person and not just a character. Judge me as you will.)

NEXT: The rumble in the cafeteria